Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


More settlements liberated in ‘annexed’ region Luhansk

Ukraine’s armed forces are making progress in liberating settlements in Luhansk, an eastern region that Russia claims to have “annexed.”

After announcing that the “de-occupation of Luhansk” had begun Wednesday, the Ukrainian head of the Luhansk regional military administration Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday evening on Telegram that Ukrainian troops had “begun to liberate the occupied settlements of Luhansk region: six small settlements have been liberated as of now, but there may be more by the morning.”

Haidai refrained from naming the settlements that had been liberated.

“We are not naming the villages yet, because the Russians then out of malice start shelling them powerfully,” he noted, adding: “the de-occupation continues … there should be good news every day.”

Ukrainian forces have made swift and significant progress after recapturing the strategically important town of Lyman, which was used by occupying Russian forces as a logistics hub, in Donetsk before pushing toward neighboring Luhansk.

A Ukrainian army press officer shows the debris of Russian air strike aircraft Su-34 at a collection point of destroyed Russian armored vehicles at an animal feed plant in the recently retaken town of Lyman in the Donetsk region, on Oct. 5, 2022.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s gains in both eastern regions which make up the larger Donbas (which contains two pro-Russian, separatist “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk), come after Russia announced last week that it had “annexed” Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

There has been renewed vigor in Ukraine’s counteroffensives in the east and south since the “annexations,” which Ukraine and its allies call illegal and illegitimate, and its forces have made gains around Kherson too. Kyiv has vowed to fight until it reclaims all its lost territory.

— Holly Ellyatt

‘You’ve already lost’ the war, Zelenskyy tells Russia

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses for a pictures with Ukrainian servicemen as he visits the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukraine’s armed forces, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on Sept. 14, 2022.

Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told Russia’s leadership that it cannot win the war.

“You’ve already lost. Lost because even now, on the 224th day of the full-scale war, you are forced to explain to your people the purpose of all this — this war, deceitful mobilization, self-destruction of your nation’s every prospect,” he said in Russian in his nightly address.

Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian troops for their successes in reclaiming dozens of settlements in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine and said “there will be more” gains to come.

“Ukrainians know what they fight for. And more and more Russian citizens realize that they must die simply because one single man does not want to stop the war.”

This photograph, taken on Oct. 5, 2022, shows destroyed Russian armored vehicles gathered at a collection point in an animal feed plant in the recently retaken town of Lyman in the Donetsk region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | Afp | Getty Images

Zelenskyy gave more detail on Ukraine’s successes on the battlefield Wednesday, stating on Telegram that the settlements of Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka in Kherson had been “liberated … and stabilized.”

Ukraine’s latest advances in regions like Kherson and Donetsk come after Russia announced last week that it was “annexing” such regions, a move signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Ukraine has said it will never recognize the results of sham referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine and its counteroffensives are proving that Russia’s hold on occupied territory is shaky.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian-installed official says Ukrainian troops have made ‘breakthroughs’ in Kherson

Ukrainian soldiers wave a national flag as they ride on a personnel armoured carrier on a road near Lyman, Donetsk region on October 4, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian-installed official conceded that Kyiv’s forces were making gains around Kherson, one of four regions that Moscow “annexed” last week.

“It’s tense, let’s put it that way,” Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed head of Ukraine’s Kherson region, said on state television, according to a Reuters report.

Last week that Moscow was “annexing” four regions in Ukraine: Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv and its allies condemned the move, calling it illegitimate and illegal.

— Amanda Macias

Ukrainian defense minister shares video showing reclaimed land from Russian forces

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov shared a video on Twitter of Ukrainian advances on the battlefield against Russian troops.

“While the Russian parliament is intoxicated from the futile attempts at annexation, our soldiers continue moving forward,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

“This is the best answer to any and all referenda, decrees, treaties and pathetic speeches,” he added.

In the past few weeks, Ukrainian forces have reclaimed more occupied land from Russia, despite the Kremlin’s announcement that it was annexing four regions in Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

Russia ready to supply gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Kremlin says

Nord Stream 2 logo displayed on a phone screen and Russian flag displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this multiple exposure illustration photo taken in Krakow in Krakow, Poland on February 22, 2022.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow is ready to begin supplying gas via the Nord Stream 2 line if Europe removes restrictions.

“The infrastructure is ready,” Novak told reporters. “If the necessary legal decisions are made by European colleagues regarding its certification and removal of restrictions, I think Russia could ensure supplies through this line of the gas pipeline in a short time,” Novak said referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Earlier this month, the Nord Stream pipelines that run under the Baltic Sea began leaking. Novak said that Russia was investigating those leaks and described the damage to the pipeline as “sabotage.”

Russia has accused the U.S. and its allies of damaging the pipeline. The Biden administration said Russia’s accusations are “absurd.”

— Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy speaks with NATO chief on joining the military alliance

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on August 17 August 2022.

Francois Walschaerts | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Kyiv’s admittance into the NATO alliance.

“I’m in constant contact with our strategic partners. Had a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Coordinated further steps on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.

Last week, Zelenskyy submitted an “accelerated” application for his country to join the 30-member defensive alliance.

— Amanda Macias

Russia’s defense ministry concedes it’s under pressure from Ukraine’s advances

Wreckage of a car marked with a Russian military symbol “Z” at a Russian military base, which Ukrainian forces destroyed by HIMARS during a counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, on Sept. 26, 2022 in Balakliia, Ukraine. Balakliia was under Russian occupation for half a year. On Sept. 10, Ukraine’s armed forces liberated the city.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said it continues to hold positions in the regions of Kherson in southern Ukraine despite advances from Ukrainian forces.

The MOD acknowledged that its units have been able to maintain their positions toward the south of the country despite “repelling superior enemy forces’ attacks.” 

In its latest update on Telegram, Russia’s MOD said its forces had conducted attacks on Ukrainian units in Kharkiv, Donetsk (in the east) and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south, claiming to have killed several hundred Ukrainian troops and destroyed a variety of weaponry in its various attacks.

Nonetheless, it acknowledged that in the Kherson region, where Ukraine has reported a number of significant advances in recent days, it was under pressure with Russian units maintaining their positions in the Andriivka-Kyrvyi-Rih direction (in the south) despite attacks from “superior” Ukrainian forces. It’s unclear whether the ministry was referring to the quality or size of the Ukrainian units it described.

CNBC was unable to verify the details in the report.

— Holly Ellyatt

The liberation of Luhansk region has begun, top Ukrainian official says

A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier transports troops toward a pontoon bridge crossing of the Oskil River on September 30, 2022 in Kupiansk, Ukraine. Ukraine has recaptured thousands of square miles of its northeast Kharkiv region from Russian forces in recent weeks.

Scott Peterson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukraine’s forces are making gains in the Luhansk region in the east of the country, according to a prominent Ukrainian official.

If verified, the advances will mark further progress for Ukraine as it fights to reclaim territory that Russia claims to have annexed.

“Well, now it’s official. The de-occupation of Luhansk region has begun,” Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhiy Haidai said on Telegram Wednesday in comments translated by news agency Ukrinform.

Several settlements have already been liberated from the Russian army, and there the Armed Forces of Ukraine are already raising the Ukrainian flag there,” Haidai said without specifying where.

Haidai said that the de-occupation of the region would continue, saying: “I thank our Armed Forces for wonderful news. Let’s help them, don’t get tired, we believe in our victory. Luhansk region is Ukraine, it has been and will be so. Carry on.”

Ukraine’s counteroffensives in southern and eastern parts of the country have made headlines with the country’s armed forces making rapid advances and reclaiming dozens of settlements around Kherson in the south and Donetsk and Kharkiv in the east and northeast.

If Haidai’s comments are verified it will confirm that Ukraine is now pushing into Luhansk from Donetsk, both of which are regions where Russia was seen to have a strong foothold and where two pro-Russian, self-proclaimed “republics” have now been incorporated into the Russian Federation (as have Kherson and Zaporizhzhia).

Ukraine and its allies completely reject the annexation of Ukrainian territory, saying they will never recognize the illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory.

— Holly Ellyatt

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